Tag Archives: National Park

Keep it simple

As I mentioned in my previous post, my style has been changing. This photo is one of the examples. I think my landscape photos are getting more subtle, soft and naive. Do you guess where this photo was taken? I went to Vermilion lake in Banff, Alberta as part of oopoomoo’s workshop weeks ago. Vermilion lake and Mt. Rundle is iconic location for photographers. But my lens was facing opposite side.

Slowness by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K)) on 500px.com
Slowness by Hiroaki Kobayashi

 

A new image form the gallery show

When I publish a new photo, I occasionally feel not sure what kind of responses to the photo I will get from viewers. Currently, my gallery show is going at the Higher Ground cafe in Kensington in Calgary, Alberta. This is the first time to showcase this image takne in Lake O’Hara in Yoho National park, BC in 2012. I was not quite confident since it is a little different from what I have mostly done before. Its mood is so different from my other photos. I guess that is why I was a little anxious to exhibit this photo. However, this image was one of two photos my friends picked as their favorite photos. When reviewing my album, I noticed my style is constantly changing; images from 2012 are somewhat different from 2011 even I traveled to the same places.

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For larger size, please click the photo.

 

Another reason people like this photo would be thye may see quality of the presentation o of the photo. I asked Resolve Photo to print and Framed on Fifth to frame as usual. They do great job.

By the way. the gallery show is going until the end of April. The map to the Higher Ground Cafe is here.

What’s wrong with snap shot – Crashed cessna near Takakkaw in 2001

This time, the article won’t be serious. I found this photo when I was archiving slide film. This photo was taken in 2001 when I was living in Kaploops, British Columbia and travelled to Canadian Rockies. I do remember so many things happened during my trip in 2001, but I totally forgot about the crashed Cessna near Takakkaw falls. I searched on Google and I found the airplane was 180 floatplane crashed around August 19th, 2001.

This photo is just a snap shot. But I got back some other memories with this photo like I left eyeglasses at the camping site after I took picure and I had to go back from hiking for 3 km to get them back, or I injured my knee in Lake O’hara, or a pole of the tent broke at Mt. Edith Cavell and I had to give up camping. I barely made parking lot before sunset. We phographers often have discussions like wether photography is art or how original photography should be. But I sometimes think camera is great visual recording tool, and the snap shots please people years later. That’s aslo powerful.

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Autumn landscape in Lake O’Hara – Large format slide film

Another photo from film, but this time is 4×5 color slide. This image was taken at my last autumn trip. When I visisted lake O’Hara, peak of larch trees was a little passed. But I still got some good… actually, some great shots. I will post them in future posts. For this post, I respect the media so I kept the digital processing minimum and only global adjustments were applied. It is nature of slide film. I heard large format sizes of Fuji Velvia had been discountinued in Europe. I hope the supply of the such a legendary film will last longer in Canada.

 Lake McArthur area in Autumn  by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K)) on 500px.com
Lake McArthur area in Autumn by Hiroaki Kobayashi

More large format stuff here:

 

Flash light in Landscape photographey.

I had a vacation this fall again. I visit Lake O’Hara and Jasper every year to pursue leaves changes. Although I had bad weather last two years, the sun was smiling at me most of the time this year in Lake O’Hara. However, it means light condition was a little harsh for photography. So I had to use HDR a lot in Lake O’Hara.

In Jasper, the weather was not as beautiful as when I had been in Lake O’Hara. But lighting condition at the golden time is usually difficult. I did not want to use HDR for this shot. Instead of the HDR, I tried off-camera flash light to the boats. I added tinge of colour with gels.
Rainy Evening in Japser, Alberta - 2 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on 500px.com
Rainy Evening in Japser, Alberta – 2 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Please click the photo for the larger size.

My first photo workshop guide experience

Last week end, I visited Lake O’Hara, British Columbia. It was workshop by Brian Merry and I was one of leading guides. We started hike around 2 pm and it was beautiful sunny afternoon. The sky was spotless. This condition is perfect for hikers but for photographers….it is boring. I would be taking a nap in my car or searching  good subjects for  better lighting condition coming up later. Although I took my group to some iconic locations, the condition was not for open-dynamic-view type of images. Needless to say,  I have to show them something we can do without a tripod. As an instructor, I did not have time to set up a tripod. I was looking around and I got an idea.

Well…this is not super creative. Many people try the same thing. But this is fun and still some of viewers can tell where the scene is. I think documentary part of photography is also powerful tool to communicate with viewers. Having said that, I felt I had to add some effects to convey my languid feeling in the bright and warm Indian summer afternoon.

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I tried Darton Drake‘s techniques. I hope the result is more special than Instagram. Lastly, thank you, Brian, for giving me the opportunity.

Film is not dead (3) – Borrowing someone’s eyes

It’s been long time since the last blog. This is the last episode from “Film is not dead” and this time is not quite about film, more toward to a topic about style making . When we had the film development session, Samantha Chrysanthou did not have film to develop so she tried one of my film. I have just picked up the film randomly so I did not know when and where the film was taken.

One morning, while I was JUST photographing the sunrise at lake Louise, Alberta, I saw one guy carrying large tripod and Hasselblad was looking for an open spot. Yes, it was FILM Hassel, one of the most prestigious cameras.  The location was quite busy with photographers. The best time of the morning passed and I started packing my gear. He approached to my spot and IMPATIENTLY waiting for me leaving. Then as soon as I moved my tripod, he set his tripod on the completely same spot and raised it to the same height. I shacked my head. The hundreds of similar images of the location can be found in Google images and more importantly the best moment was long gone. I spoke to myself his Hassey would cry.

So after the film was developed by Sam, I found that the images on the roll were ones I took in Jasper, Alberta last autumn. The trip was hard since I was out of luck of the weather. I visited Pyramid lake in the morning, aiming to shoot the gorgeous sunrise and orange color on the Pyramid mountain but weather quickly turned to gray. I know Photographer’s saying “No bad light”, but also it is true overcastted sky with no cloud pattern is not encouraging. Anyway, I had to change my strategy. Then I was thinking of Sam’s images. Her subtle, soft, calm images with a kind of melancholic feel, rather than gougeous and powerful typical landscapes. That motivated me to try something in the difficult situation. The result is, I think, pretty good. The funny part of this anecdote is Sam herself developed the film accidently.

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Please click for the larger size.

Do you see the huge difference in the creative approach between the photographer at the lake Louise and myself. I believe the process of developing creative eyes and learning music is not so different. At first, being interested in someone’s works, then we try the same things but usually did not work. Start pursuing the artist’s works more seriously,…sometimes thoroughly analyze their works. Try at the field again and see the some sort of the achievement . After this long process, the artist’s style blends into own style, becomes own flesh. In my case of Jasper, I used Sam’s influence more consciously. It is not stealing. I call this approach “Borrowing someone’s eyes”. Accepting influences is also important, I think. Mick Jaggar stated that ‘You can’t always get what you want” was inspired by “Hey Jude”. I guess that is cool.

Please visit oopoomoo.com to find Sam’s appealing photos.

Longer than usual – LEE Big Stopper

This time is a kind of the sequel from the last post.  I always take my smart-phone to back county. Not for phone calls obviously, because it is handy when I use LEE – Big Stopper filter. Big Stopper is 10 stop neutral density filter. 3 or 4 steps are commonly used to slow down shutter speed. But it is 10 stops; you can achieve minutes of exposure time! Here is the easy calculation for exposure time.

  • 10 stops is the tenth power of 2 = 1024.
  • So “Exposure time (sec) without Big Stopper” x 1024 = Exposure time with Big stopper.

For example, You have 1/125 of shutter speed before setting up Big Stopper, the final one will be (1/125)x1024=8.192 (sec). When you have 2 sec of shutter speed initially, you will have 2(sec) x 1024=2048(sec), 2048(sec)/60=34.13(min). Savvy! Now I set a timer and read an eBook. That is why I need a smart-phone all the time for the calculation, timer and eBook. One tip is, when you shoot with auto-exposure and Big Stopper is attached to a lens, you may need to compensate exposure to +1.5 to 2.0.

Melancholic - Bow Lake, Alberta

This photo was posted in my last blog post. The Bow lake in Alberta looks really calm in this picture. But in reality, the day was pretty windy and  it looked like the picture below. The 45 sec of exposure totally calmed waves on the lake. Big Stopper adds a tinge of cyan; this may be problematic for some photographers. But I like the cool tone, which often adds ethereal feel to the image.

Here is other examples, shutter speed 30 sec and the bottom one is 3 min.

Kananaskis big sky

Lastly, I should be honest and share my inspiration of the long exposure. Please check out amazing, Michael Levin. Since I saw his works 2 years ago, they have been big influence on my images.

Need your help (3) – Color or B&W – Bow Lake

Eventually, I have decided to put my images to Flickr and 500px. So I can share “okay” images which are not good enough to put in my web-site. So I need your kind help now! Please let me hear your opinion about which you like better between the 2 images below. I cannot select one for the portfolio in my website. Top one is color obviously; the unique part of this shot technically is shutter speed is fairly long, about 3 min achieved by Lee Big Stopper filter. The other one is Infrared B&W, one of my  photography styles. Please click the images for the larger views.

 

A melancholic snail 1

Melancholic – Bow lake – color

A melancholic snail 2

Melancholic – Bow lake – B&W

I will talk about the LEE big stopper filter some time.

Need your help (2) – Pinhole Photography

One of my photographic projects this year is pinhole photography. Last year, I saw some ethereal pinhole photos from 2 artists in a local galley in Calgary, Alberta. I was so impressed by the photos and I felt “I’ve got to try”. At first I was thinking of D.I.Y to with body cap, but I found Skink pinhole set. I end up ordering one online. At first, I thought pinhole is magic tool to turen every subjects look artistic photos, but actually it is quite fussy about its food. I learned I have to feed what it likes, otherwise the returns are just blur soft images. Especially, pinhole seems to like a lot of light. Take a look the image bellow.

I shot this image with the skink after I shot the same scene with a regular wide angle lens. To me, this is not particularly remarkable image.

I went Bow lake in Banff national park, Alberta 2 weeks ago. I was not feeling taking picture of the lake. I was just walking around. Then I found the flower bed. One advantage of pinhole over regular lens is there is no close range limitation. I can get as close to a subject as I want. So the flower bed is quite good subject. The skink pinhole set is coming with 3 different types of holes, a regular pinhole (f/122), zone sheave (f/71) and zone plate (f/46). Their focal length are equivalent to 24mm. The pinhole takes actually sharp and somewhat contrasty images, on the other hand the images taken by zone plate are really really soft. The zone sheave is somewhere between the pinhole and the ZP.

I tried all of them for the same setting. Please pick your favorite and leave your opinion. I am getting towards one but still I cannot decide. I need your help again.

href=”http://500px.com/photo/1268088″>Bow lake - Dandelion bed 1, Pinhole by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on 500px.com
Bow lake – Dandelion bed 1, Pinhole by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Bow lake - Dandelion bed 2, Zone Plate  by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on 500px.com
Bow lake – Dandelion bed 2, Zone Plate by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Bow lake - Dandelion bed 3, Zone Sheave  by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on 500px.com
Bow lake – Dandelion bed 3, Zone Sheave by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Lastly, I would like to introduce the photographer, Paul Stack. I met him at Lake Louise and both of us were having range finder cameras on neck. This kind of the encounter never happens for Canon users, I guess. Anyway, please check out his fabulous pinhole photos here, and also currently, his photos are being exhibited at Mount Royal University.